Suicidal ideation, suicide attempt (SA) and suicide are significantly heritable phenotypes. However, the extent to which these phenotypes share genetic architecture is unclear. This question is of great relevance to determining key risk factors for suicide, and to alleviate the societal burden of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs). To help address the question of heterogeneity, consortia efforts have recently shifted from a focus on suicide within the context of major psychopathology (e.g. major depressive disorder, schizophrenia) to suicide as an independent entity. Recent molecular studies of suicide risk by members of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and the International Suicide Genetics Consortium have identified genome-wide significant loci associated with SA and with suicide death, and have examined these phenotypes within and outside of the context of major psychopathology. This review summarizes important insights from epidemiological and biometrical research on suicide, and discusses key empirical findings from molecular genetic examinations of STBs. Polygenic risk scores for these phenotypes have been observed to be associated with case−control status and other risk phenotypes. In addition, estimated shared genetic covariance with other phenotypes suggests specific medical and psychiatric risks beyond major depressive disorder. Broadly, molecular studies suggest a complexity of suicide etiology that cannot simply be accounted for by depression. Discussion of the state of suicide genetics, a growing field, also includes important ethical and clinical implications of studying the genetic risk of suicide.